For many years I marked the volume setting for each track in my reference library. On playback, it was easy to set the proper level by adjusting it up or down to compensate for the number of listeners in the room.

Then something changed. I am not sure exactly what but I suspect it was an incremental combination of things: a new software upgrade for DirectStream coupled with new cables.  Whatever the cause, over time I started noticing a desire to turn up the sound a few notches above where my reference marks were.

Have you experienced the same sort of thing? You have a system that’s perhaps on the edge of a slight brittleness or brightness. You’re hesitant to turn up the music too loud. Then something changes that removes the touch of glare and voila! Time to crank it up just a bit.

Some tracks of music and some types of equipment encourage playback at louder levels while other combinations are not quite so welcoming.

When I look at my reference library I can see the trend towards playback of the tracks that encourage me to turn it up just a little louder.

Paul McGowan / PS AUDIO

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